Small business owners should never feel like they need to acquire business software simply for the sake of implementing the latest technology. Yes, the business software market is expanding rapidly and growing at a rate of eight percent a year. Its market share is now hundreds of billions of dollars, but that doesn’t mean entrepreneurs should rush to purchase the latest platforms. Small businesses should take a careful and strategic approach to select software. They can do this by first examining their own objectives and identifying areas they want to improve on.
There are thousands of business software options out there representing hundreds of different categories. Few if any will map on perfectly to your business. Instead, single out your company’s greatest needs and they’ll help you determine exactly what functionalities you’re looking for. From there, you can start navigating the crowded, sprawling landscape of enterprise software solutions. Here’s a brief guide to help you narrow the search and develop the best criteria for finding your perfect fit. Remember: you want a business software that can do everything you need and nothing—or at least very little—you don’t.
Establish Primary Objectives and Inefficiencies
Small business owners should take some time to think about what they want to achieve with the latest software. If you own a local plumbing company, maybe you want to optimize routes and maximize fuel efficiency. If you’re a general contractor, maybe you might want a better way to manage your workforce. A professional house painter could be looking to reach more potential clients.
At the same time, entrepreneurs should be examining areas of potential inefficiency in their operations. It’s entirely possible that your monthly expenses are higher than they need to be. In other words, your business has unnecessary overhead and as a result, is bleeding your profits. Or your billing and invoice process is slow and prone to error. Or maybe your field operations aren’t effective enough at assigning work orders to field team members based on their experience and skill-sets. Make a list of what your goals are for your organization and what areas you can improve on. It will go a long way in helping you track down the perfect software platform for your unique needs.
Identify Tools that Address Those Objectives
Now that you’ve firmly established the specific aspects of your business that you want to strengthen, you’ll want to match those objectives with the tools that will help you achieve them. Understanding everything that business software can do will take some time. It only requires a modest amount of research, though, to get a reasonably strong handle on the most important tools.
An introductory list includes things like GPS tracking, a customer relationship manager (CRM), automatic billing and invoicing, scheduling, performance analytics, and work order management. Once you have a grasp of these features you can determine whether they address your particular goals. A small business owner focused on growth will want to look for a home service software that has a robust customer relationship manager. Another interested in operational efficiency and cash flow, should search for top-notch automatic billing and invoicing capabilities.
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Search for Software Platforms Specializing in those Tools
Once you’ve set your objectives and identified the specific tools that can help you reach them, you’re ready to start looking for business software. It seems so simple and straightforward, but you’ll want to look a little deeper. Take advantage of free trials when they are available, as they’ll give you a chance to see how a software platform’s tools integrate into your workflow. It will tell you a lot about how easy the implementation is going to be, and just how quickly your employees will take to the software and benefit from it. In addition, try to involve your entire organization in the selection process. Different employees—each with their own unique responsibilities at your company—are going to bring their own individual perspectives to this process. The more opinions and feedback you get, the better equipped you’ll be when preparing to make a final decision.
Small businesses looking for a powerful yet easily adaptable home service software should explore WHERK. A new software platform designed specifically for small businesses. WHERK features a full suite of functionalities that help entrepreneurs reach new heights of productivity and growth. These include vehicle and personnel tracking, automatic billing, custom reporting, and built-in CRM. Visit the WHERK website to explore further.